Professor of American StudiesRome
As director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Professor Cummings is frequent visitor to the Rome Global Gateway and has become familiar with the many resources, archives, and networks available there.
“It’s a chance to have serious interaction with colleagues,” she says. “I know for me, when I first started doing this in 2010, I met a couple people for coffee. But it’s quite a different thing to invite people to an actual event you’re hosting at the Global Gateway where they can get a better sense of what Notre Dame is and what Notre Dame is trying to do. It facilitates much more substantive interaction and helps you develop genuine colleagues.”
In her repeated visits, Cummings has done research for two publications and hosted the 2014 Rome Seminar titled “World Made Small: Transnational Approaches to U.S. Catholic History.” It encouraged U.S. historians to make use of the many archival resources in Rome. That seminar, the first held at the RGG, inspired a guide to Roman archives which will soon be published by the University of Notre Dame Press. It highlights the 59 Roman archives which Cummings believes boast valuable material for the study of American Catholicism.
She says, “It is really impossible to tell the story of Catholicism in the United States without considering what is happening in Rome. U.S. Catholics are connected to Rome through the Holy See, but also through members of religious orders who have houses in Rome. There’s a lot of travel back and forth. There’s a lot of correspondence back and forth to Rome. There are really valuable resources to study what’s happening here in the United States.”
Her newest book, Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in America, a history which spans the first Catholic proposed saint in 1884 up until the first canonization on American soil in 2015, is nearly complete and is based on research from eight archives in Rome.
Professor of Computer Science and EngineeringBeijing
In a productive partnership with Beijing’s Tsinghua University, one of the top academic institutions in Asia, Notre Dame professor Nitesh Chawla published a series of high impact publications in network science, machine learning, and data science. The first collaboration with Tsinghua led to the creation a novel algorithm called CoupledLP which focuses on link prediction in coupled networks. Another joint project studied the ability to infer demographic data of mobile phone users based on their daily communication behaviors. The study was based on a mobile network of more than 7 million users with more than one billion texts and calls.
“We would like to characterize human communications in terms of socio-economic and cultural conditions,” the computer science and engineering professor says. “This direction would truly put our research into practice.”
Continuing his collaboration with Asian scholars, Chawla also participated in an initiative with IBM and China’s Ministry of Education, to host two students, one from Nanjing University and another from Peking University Health Science Center, as they did research at Notre Dame.
Professor of Ancient Art HistoryAncient Corinth, Greece
“Each May I take a small group of students to Ancient Corinth, Greece for a three-week course entitled, Greek Art and Landscape. The original inspiration for this course was my discovery that many athletes do not have a sufficient window during the year to participate in a six-week summer session abroad, much less an entire semester abroad. Having worked as an archaeologist in Greece my entire adult life and being deeply involved with both the village and the excavations at Ancient Corinth, I decided to design a course that would immerse students as completely as possible in both ancient art and architecture and in contemporary Greek life. The natural bridge between the two is the landscape of Greece which has remained unchanged for eons and which allows us today to some extent to view the world through ancient Greek eyes. International study lies at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission to create aware and empathetic world citizens, and a course of physical, intellectual, and cultural immersion can be a vital tool for becoming conscious of the complex web of experience that makes “place” and that helps us find our place in it.”